Tuesday, 5 September 2017

What colour is a shadow?

I sit here at Fotografiska (Photographical Museum) with an amazing view from the café restaurant over the water and Stockholm... having being inspired to write a blogpost.
The exhibition by Viviane Sassen had images that explored shape and colour - it also had a room that allowed visitors to explore shadows and colour... the explanation of the shadow exhibition "Aura" is described in the photo below.

Here are some photos I took of myself exploring the light and shadows and the colours ... of course I took a whole heap... including a whole series of me walking slowly from one side to the other side and watching the colours come onto the screen as my body blocked the lights... as you see below the lights were arranged in a row - and together they made the screen white as you can see below.

The real fun came when you put your body in front of the lights. Personally it would have been fun if there had been a basket of objects relating to the exhibition - squares and triangles to play with as well, and then even more interesting personal art creations could evolve.

Below you can see two examples of her work where Sassen explores shapes and colours. Having worked with young children for a very long time I find these photos very inspirational as an inspiration source with children... to give the children various shapes and colours and to create shadows and take photos of their work... even without the use of shadows this would work as a great art exploration of shapes and colours.

As you see below in the outdoor playworkshop I held last week we also explored shapes, colours and shadows, using the sun, and the recently made colour exploration we had done on a sheet.

 This is a very simple way to create shadows... the wetness of the sheet also added an extra dimension to the whole shadow exploration.
Even above you can see that not all shadows are black... which is the usual answer I first get when I ask children, what colour is a shadow...

The below photographs are from the exhibition at the Fotografiska (if you are in Stockholm it is available to check out until 12th of November)

These images remind me of a light and shadow exploration in Aðalþing Leikskóli (preschool) in Iceland... below are some photos I took there. The lights COULD be arranged in the same way as above to create the coloured shadows... apparently I was too mesmerised by the whole thing to actually take a photograph of that and of the lamps... they were lights that that were on a flexible neck so they could be moved around for the children to explore.

In June I visited Överby Preschool in Vaxholm community... I have written about their sensory room - and you could read about it HERE as they work a great deal with light and shadow too as part of the sensory exploration. Eva Tuvhav Gullberg was the person who showed me around - she also took me to Redutten and an exhibition of art that she and other local artists had created with children from the area... light and shadow was a part of this too... take a look at the below photographs for inspiration...

shining light through a crystal

shadows via a reflection in a mirror

using two lights to create shadows of the robots the children had made from recycled materials... making more art from the art. Both lights could be moved around to change the dynamics of the shadows. The children could have the focus of creating constructions in order to make a dreamworld, or a the background for a puppet show, or... whatever your imagination comes up with... now I want to create a shadow forest...

experimenting with using lids and other materials on the lights to create new colours
A few years ago I created a light and shadow exploration for my preschoolers... here are a few photos from that... the idea was for the children to climb into their own artwork and to experience it in a new way, at the same time create something new... this was the final part of a longer exploration of light and shadows with these children, so they did have an awareness of what they were creating... the first few times were about exploring and playing... so it really is worth repeating these kinds of experiences for the children to gain a deeper understanding and let their play develop into a new kind of learning.

 The International Fairy Tea Party has also been a great opportunity to explore  shadows and the colour of shadows... fairy wings make great shadows

 There are many other ways to explore shadows and the colour of shadows... using projectors, lights, the sun, and overheads...

shadow puppet shows... not all of the shadows are black!

magnatiles on the overhead make colourful shadows

Sometimes there are great outdoor installations, like this one in Blåsut
that creates colourful shadows when the sun is out.
ice-cream spoons on the overhead

more mirrors outside to create reflection and shadows

The potential to explore shadows is great and varied... and so much fun...
a few more photos to inspire to end this post with - outdoor shadow explorations.

 The next post from Fotografiska will be taking the perspective of looking at the photographs as a stimulus for dialogues with young children....

Here is the link to Fotografiska to find out more

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